Taught course

Environment and Development

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of Planning and Geography

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a BSc/BA degree with a minimum second class in Geography, Sociology, Politics or Economics, Environmental Engineering/Science/Design. Applicants with degrees in other subjects who have relevant professional experience, will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

This MSc in Environment and Development aims to investigate, question and explore alternatives to the prevailing tensions and interdependencies between development and socio-ecological systems. It will consider the lived experiences of development and socio-ecological change, paying attention to different periods and multiple outcomes.

You will study the many problems resulting from the narrow search for economic growth which ignores wider socio-ecological requirements and responsibilities. The focus will be on exploring the fundamental connections between socio-economic demands and mounting environmental impacts and risks in both the Global North and the Global South.

The programme provides an opportunity to review: tendencies to convert nature into resources and private property; the formulation and implementation of environmental regulation; the commitments and failures of the apparatus of the state; the interaction between socio-economic sectors, groups and communities; and the political reaction and alliances across different geographical scales, countries and locations.

You will consider how the development appeal continues to influence governments, social groups and international relations, but at the same time generates uneven, short-term gains and long-lasting impacts. You will also discuss the limitations of policies influenced by environmentalism and narrow sustainability agendas which commonly fail to address wider social, political and economic expectations.

Through coordinated activities and practical engagements you will learn about past legacies, socio-cultural influences, the evolution of techno-scientific approaches and policy-making, the allocation of resources, and the challenges to contain environmental degradation and foster environmental justice. The various modules and related training exercises will help you to develop your critical thinking skills and the ability to examine the justification, the trends and limitations of conventional responses and a range of possible alternatives.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Enquiries
+44 (0)29 2087 6087